Happy Holidays to All!

Kinesis Holster Intro


The Kinesis C-series cases are the some of the most robust, yet functional holster cases available today. The letter “C” stands for camera as in a “camera and lens” holster or zoom case. They are designed to hold one digital DSLR or mirrorless body with a lens attached. The lens sits nose down on a double-thick foam base*. The taller models will accommodate an extra lens at the bottom if both lenses are short.

Four industry exclusive features:

  • QuickClose™ over-the-lid compression strap,
  • CameraCushion™ foam divider works either horizontally or vertically
  • Double foam bottom (extra protection where it counts — near the lens front element)
  •  Designed and manufactured in the USA

Other Features

  • This series of cases feature a zippered reverse-opening lid.
  • Up to three small Kinesis pouches can be piggybacked on to the outside of a C-series case. Single-wide pouches will fit on the sides and a single-wide or double-wide will fit in the front.
  • Numerous D-Rings for attaching optional shoulder strap (Y315 Padded Shoulder Strap recommended all but the C850, then consider the heavier Y515) or a shoulder harness.
  • Most shoe-mount style flash units will fit in the front pocket of any C-series case including the following: Canon 580EX, 550EX, 540EZ, 430EZ or Nikon SB-26, SB-28, SB-900. Handguns, that measure from the barrel to the bottom of the handgrip (measuring diagonally) up to approx. 250mm (9.8") in length, will fit in this pocket. A Glock 21 (45 auto), for example, will fit fine.
  • Small zippered pocket under top lid for storage of SD or CF cards, lens tissue or small filters. Zipper is covered by a fabric flap so it will not scratch your LCD screen.

Fabrication (click for more info on this topic)

  • Exterior utilizes rugged 500-Denier Cordura fabric (used on most of our cases)
  • The main case body is contains 10mm-thick closed-cell foam
  • The bottom has an extra layer 6mm of foam
  • The lid utilizes 6mm foam

*Design Note: Our holster cases have no inner edge shelf to support the camera body—instead we use the “Camera Cushion” that covers the whole area of the case (see below). The weight of the camera body and lens rests on the lens and/or lens hood at the base of the case or on the foam-padded CameraCushion divider. 

Sizing — Also see this page for a quick overview.

The top opening of the four largest holsters, i.e. the C540, C600 & C850, is the same, with the only difference being the depth of the case.

Our smallest holster case, the C380, is the common choice for the “average Joe” DSLR or mirrorless body with a “standard wide-to-tele” or “manufacturers kit” lens. Sometimes the M330 makes a good choice too, laying the body on it’s side.

First, determine the depth of your DSLR/Mirrorless body. Measure from the top of the prism (or hot shoe) to the tripod thread or bottom of the quick-release plate, if you are using one.

Second, determine the height. Measure from the back of the eyepiece to the end of the lens cap or hood with a UV filter if you use one (if using it with the hood in the shooting position).

Click on this photo of this (old) C580 for an enlarged image and instructional captions.

Please be aware that the because of the increased depth (including the front pocket) of the three larger holster cases (C540, C600 and C850), some people find these cases cumbersome to wear on the waist when working in crowds such as news events or weddings.

Dimensions given on this site are inside (I.D.).

Case Depth (I.D.)
With most bodies, there is enough room with a Arca-Swiss type quick-release plate. A thin L-bracket, up to 6mm (1/4") thick, will also fit in our holster cases.

Case Height (I.D.)
This measurement is from the end of the lens cap (w/ a UV filter if you normally use one) to the eyepiece or back of the camera.

Allow extra space if you have a thick or bulky neck strap attached to your camera body — it can also be stowed below the body, near the narrow neck of the lens. If you plan to stack lenses (placing a shorter lens on the bottom of the case with the CameraCushion between) allow about 2cm (3/4") for the thickness of a compressed cushion.

Listed below are several popular body/lens combinations. We don't maintain specs for after-market lenses (Sigma, Tokina etc.). If you don't see your model listed, don't despair. Take some simple measurements and compare against our inside dimension specs.

Small Camera Body: A small camera body like a Canon M50, M6, Leica rangefinder, Nikon Z30 or a Panasonic Lumix series will fit in a holster case, but gets swallowed up. Look at the M330 instead, or possibly a M550 or A634 case.

Medium Camera Body: The C380, C382, M330 or M550 will hold a “Small DSLR or mirrorless body” and will yield a comfortable fit for a body that is up to 12cm (4.75") deep or a tight fit for a body up to 13cm (5.125") deep. (Measuring from the top of the prism [or hot shoe] to the tripod thread or bottom of the quick-release plate, if you are using one.)

Examples of a “Medium-sized” body (without an optional vertical battery grip/power booster):

  • Nikon Z7 II, Z5, Z6, D2- or D3-series, D1, D1x, F5 or N80.
  • Canon R6 Mark II, R7, R5, 1D-series bodies, 5D, 90D, Digital Rebel or Elan II.
  • Olympus E1
  • Sony a7R V, a7R IV, a7 IV, a1
  • Fuji X-H2, X-T5 etc.
  • Panasonic Lumix series will fit but get nearly drowned in such a case. Look at the M330, M550 or A634 cases instead.

The M330 Small Multi-Pouch works as an alternative compact “holster” case to the C380 or C382. The maximum size camera dimensions that will fit in this case are: Camera depth (tripod thread to top of prism) = 10.5cm (4") & maximum height (eyepiece to end of lens cap) = 170mm (6.75").

Large Camera Body: The C540, C600 or C850 will hold a “Large DSLR or mirrorless body” and will yield a comfortable fit for a body up to 16cm (6.25") deep or a tight fit for a body up to 17.5cm (6.75") deep.  (Measuring from the top of the prism [or hot shoe] to the tripod thread or bottom of the quick-release plate, if you are using one.)

    Examples of a “Large-sized” body (any of the above with an optional vertical battery grip/power booster) or the following:

    • Canon R3 or EOS-1D X Mark II or III
    • Nikon Z9, D850, D6

    The C540, C600 or C850 will also hold a Medium-sized body, but the body will move around a little inside the case, unless an the V100 CameraCushion is placed vertically near the prism.

    The C380 will hold a “Small-sized Body” with a “Short Lens” up to 16cm (6.25") long* or a combined body/lens height up to 21.5cm (8.4")

    The C540 will hold a “Medium- or Large-sized Body” with a “Short Lens” up to 16cm (6.25") long* or a combined body/lens height up to 23.5cm (9-¼"). Examples:
    • Canon 24 or 28-70/2.8, 80-200/4.5, 75-300/4-5.6 II USM (incl. IS), 100-300/4.5, 200/2.8, Tamron 28-105/2.8 with hood in reversed storage mode. One of the following lenses with the hood in the shooting position: 16-35/2.8, 17-40/4, 20-35/3.5, 24-85/3.5, 28-80/3.5, 24-105/4 IS, 28-105/3.5, 28-135/3.5-5.6 IS USM & most prime lenses up to 200mm focal length.
    • Nikon 70-210/4.5, 70-300/4-5.6 ED AF, 28-70/2.8, 200/2.8 with hood in reversed storage mode. The following lenses with the hood in the shooting position: 20-35/2.8, 24-120/3.5, 28-105/3.5, 35-70/2.8, 28-80/3.5, 35-80/4.5, 35-105/3.5 & most prime lenses up to 200mm focal length.
    • Olympus E1 with 11-22, 50 macro or the 50-200 lens attached.

    The C600 will hold a Medium or Large body with a “Medium Lens” up to 25cm (9-½") long* or a combined body/lens height up to 30.5cm (12").
    • Canon 70-200/2.8 (reg or IS), 75-300/4.5 IS, 70-200/4, 35-350/3.5, 300/4, 200-400/5.6 & 100-400/4.5 IS with hood in the reversed storage mode. 24-70/2.8 with the hood in the shooting position.
    • Nikon VR 70-200/2.8, AF-S 80-200/2.8 IF-ED (Silent Wave), 70-300/4, 300/4 & many other long prime lenses with hood in storage mode. Will also fit the older style 80-200/2.8 w/ the HB-7 hood in the shooting position.
    • Also fits Tamron 28-105/2.8 with the hood in the shooting position.

    The C850 will hold a Medium or Large Body with a “Large Lens” up to approx. 33cm (13")* long or a combined body/lens height up to 40.5cm (16").
    • Canon 35-350/3.5, 300/4 IS, 70-200/2.8, 70-200/2.8 IS, 100-400/4-5.6 IS
    • Nikon 200-500/5.6, VR 70-200/2.8, 80-200/2.8 (including AF-S IF-ED) with the lens hood in the shooting position. Or for Canon 400/5.6 (w/ an extender too) with hood stowed.

    Case Width (I.D.)

    Width is usually not a factor, as all bodies have similar widths — our holster cases are cut wide to allow room to slide your fingers around your camera when extracting the camera. An small L-bracket, up to 6mm (1/4") thick, will also fit fine in our holster cases.

    *Our lens length dimensions are “real world” specs and include caps and a single filter. Please note that manufacturers lens specifications do NOT include filters or caps. Add 25mm (1") to the length of manufacturers published lens specs to achieve an accurate "real world" dimension.

    Outside dimensions for holster cases are approx. 25mm (1") more than the I.D., except for the depth dimension, which varies, depending on how full the pocket is — add approx. 40mm (1.5") to that dimension when the pocket is empty or 100mm (4") when filled.

    Do not stress the zippers by over-packing your case — they are not covered under warranty.

    QuickClose™ Feature

    The QuickClose™ compression strap features a quick-release buckle. This stabilizes the load and lets you close the case quickly without using the zipper. In our prototype testing (during the winter of 1998 on the ski slopes of Colorado) this simple addition was the most appreciated new feature. A jacket or other soft accessory can be attached. The shoulder strap (Y208) from your SafariSack™ can be attached to this buckle to extend it's length.

    https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1658/4705/files/C570Lidbig.jpeg?4936362841659820005Lid with QC Strap closed and the zipper is open.


    Bottom photo with accessory attached.

    CameraCushion™ Feature

    Now in black, rather than gray.

    The foam CameraCushion™ can be used in two different ways. It comes standard with all holster or "C-series" cases. The C850 CameraCushion divider is unique to this case and we currently do not offer it as an add-on accessory like the V100 CameraCushion. The V100 is too small to fit in the middle of this case, but it can be placed on the bottom for additional protection if desired.

    1. Spacer — it can be used as a spacer, providing a snug fit with smaller camera bodies when used with the larger cavity of a C540 or C600. This feature enables you to use several different sized bodies with the same case. They come with the V100 CameraCushion, which is made from 30mm open cell foam.
    2. Elevator/Divider — it can also be used as a divider to protect a second lens when stowed in the bottom of the case or it can be used to simply elevate the camera and lens when a shorter lens is attached.

    The 10mm-thick V102 Thin CameraCushion is smaller, designed to used only as a divider (not as a spacer) in the C380.

    CameraCushion in “spacer” mode for smaller bodies when used with C540 or C600. It is now supplied in gray and not black as shown.

    Same view as above but with larger body and w/o CameraCushion in place.

    Other Features

    The C series cases have multiple D-Rings for attaching a chest harness or for attaching to conventional backpack.
    A hand grab loop is also provided. When this case is attached to a belt, the hand grab loop can be conveniently tucked out of the way between the case and the belt.
    The back of these cases has a 75mm-high (3") pair of sewn generic belt loops for attaching to a small backpack belt or other non-Kinesis belts. To use this (or other Kinesis cases) on a larger non-Kinesis backpack belt use the Y504 adapter.

    Please note: The zipper now features the special YKK Water-repellent Zipper (not the fabric flap shown in these dated photos) — wonderful on those dismal GoreTex® days.

    Click on this photo of an (old) C580 to see an enlarged view and detailed feature description.

    The Y309 Holster Compression Strap is useful in stabilizing a holster case on a belt.

    Adding a Y315 across the chest provides additional support to a belt system.


    C640 (replaced by the C850) with an E280 lens pouch (L) and an E340 lens pouch (R) piggy-backed. A Y308 strap is added for stability. This would be an "off belt" application.

    A holster case can be worn as a backpack with either the H255, H700 or H717 harness. We now make (on a custom basis) the H170 Holster to Harness adapter for this purpose that ties the harness and the holster case together. You do not need to be wearing a waist belt for this configuration to work. Confused? If you are purchasing a new holster, request us to configure it for you before it ships out.